Deciding to eat cleaner is only one step. What happens when you get too busy or too tired to cook healthy recipes? Many people fall back on fast food and snacks when they get bored with cooking their meals.
Cooking three healthy meals every day can take the fun out of healthy eating. Planning your meals keeps you ahead and saves you from the temptation of eating unhealthy food. To get started, organize your pantry and buy essential utensils to prepare and store your food.
Next, create a functional meal plan based on easy-to-cook recipes that won’t take the bulk of your time. After grocery shopping for your weekly dishes, you’re ready for meal prep.
If you’re stuck on what to plan, check out these meal prep ideas for weight loss:
Idea #1: Meal Prep Delivery Services
Cooking isn’t for the fainthearted. From measuring ingredients to shopping, so much can go wrong with trying healthy recipes.
If you don’t find satisfaction in cooking your meals from scratch, consider getting a healthy meal subscription for your weight loss journey. Many of them offer ready-to-cook meal boxes that require less than 30 minutes of prep time. Meal prep services also deliver a wide range of healthy options, so you don’t have to eat the same dinner every day of the week.
Idea #2: Overnight Oats
If you want meal prep ideas for weight loss, you can’t go wrong with overnight oats. Eating a healthy breakfast can make or break your weight loss plan. When you have a busy schedule, it’s almost impossible to squeeze time to have a meal in the mornings. With a solid meal plan, you can either cook meals to eat before leaving for work or prepare something you can have on the go.
Overnight oats can last up to 5 days in your fridge when stored in tight jars. Instead of cooking your oats over the stove, you can eat them raw when stored overnight on airtight containers. Prepare overnight oats by soaking rolled oats in milk for at least 6 hours.
Compared to instant oats, rolled oats are fiber-rich and have better nutritional content. You can also include additional ingredients like chia seeds, yogurt, and berries for a filling breakfast. For the best outcome, add ½ cup of oats to ½ cup of chia seeds and the same quantity of milk. For additional toppings, consider your daily dietary requirements for measurement.
Idea #3: Spicy Chicken and Sweet Potatoes
For lunch, you’ll need a filling carb-loaded meal to boost the energy supply you need to get through a long workday. Switch that unhealthy burger for a healthy home-cooked meal. You’ll not only save money but also take a step further in your weight loss journey.
Unless you’re vegan, chicken is a healthy source of protein. When prepping your meals, consider batch cooking your chicken and other proteins so you can whip easy meals during the week.
This recipe takes less than one hour, including ingredient prep time, so you can either store it for your lunch or cook it as a quick dinner after work. For a balanced meal, incorporate vegetables like carrots and broccoli into the dish.
Prepare the chicken breasts and season all other ingredients adequately. Bake the veggies, meats, and potatoes in separate pans for up to 15 minutes. The potatoes take the longest to cook, so you can remove the other ingredients and leave the potatoes to cook for an extra 10 minutes.
Idea #4: Rice and Beans With Chicken
Here’s another reason to cook your chicken over the weekend while meal prepping. Chicken works perfectly with different recipes and tastes delicious as well. Other ingredients include rice, beans, tomatoes, onions, oil, cumin, garlic, ginger, and other spices.
You can prepare this 45-minute recipe for either lunch or dinner. After sauteing the onions, add the tomatoes and season with all the spices.
Next, add the rice and black beans and leave to simmer until soft. Finish with a handful of cilantro and a side of steamed veggies. You can switch the chicken for tofu and use quinoa in place of rice, depending on your meal plan.
Idea #5: Vegan Mushroom Curry
Everyone likes a good spicy curry. They’re easy to make, and the ingredients cost less than $50 for multiple servings. Don’t let the vegan title put you off. The rich flavor profile of the curry makes it a delicious dish enjoyed by people with a diverse palate. The mushrooms and spring onions supply protein and iron, respectively.
The best part about this recipe is that it makes a perfect dinner, and you can batch cook and store for up to one week. Meal prep time takes less than 30 minutes.
Blend some shepherd peppers, onions, habanero peppers, cilantro, thyme, ginger, and garlic in a blender. Saute some red onions and red bell peppers before adding your pepper mix. Throw in your coconut milk, season with curry and other spices, and let it sit for a few minutes. Finally, add the mushrooms and finish with red onions and spring onions. You can switch the mushrooms for chickpeas and also add spinach for more iron. Serve with rice or quinoa.
Idea #6: Mixed Berry Parfait
Parfaits are delicious for breakfast regardless of your meal plan. If you’re looking to cut down the sugar in your meals without giving up on sweetness, consider incorporating parfaits into your diet.
The ingredients include 2-3 spoons of Greek yogurt, nuts, fresh berries, granola, and honey. Layer the yogurt with pieces of fruit and granola. Top with some nuts and a drizzle of honey.